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The Preacher and the Prelate: The Achill Mission Colony and the Battle for Souls in Famine Ireland

By Patricia Byrne

This is the extraordinary story of an audacious fight for souls on famine-ravaged Achill Island off Ireland's Atlantic coast during the nineteenth century.

Religious ferment swept across Ireland in the early part of the 1900s, and Protestant clergyman Edward Nangle's Mission Colony was to lift the destitute people of Achill out of degradation and idolatry and into salvation.

The fury of the island elements, the devastation of famine, Nangle's own volatile temperament, and the unbearable suffering of his wife Eliza and her children, all threatened the project's survival.

In the years of the Great Famine the ugly charge of 'souperism', offering food and material benefits in return for religious conversion, tainted the Mission's work.

John MacHale, powerful Catholic Archbishop of Tuam, spearheaded the Catholic Church's fightback against Nangle's colony, with the two clergymen unleashing fierce passions, with vitriol and polemic spewing out from pen and pulpit.

Did Edward Nangle and the Achill Mission Colony save hundreds from certain death, or did they shamefully exploit vulnerable people to religious conversion?

This dramatic tale of the Achill Mission Colony spectacularly exposes the fault-lines of religion, society and politics in nineteenth-century Ireland, and continues to excite controversy and division to this day. 


Publisher : Merrion; Illustrated edition (May 28, 2018)

Publication date : May 28, 2018

Language : English

Paperback : 244 pages

ISBN-10 : 178537172X

ISBN-13 : 978-1785371721

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